ABT‑737 and pictilisib synergistically enhance pitavastatin‑induced apoptosis in ovarian cancer cells
- Elizabeth De Wolf
- Christopher De Wolf
- Alan Richardson
Published online on: December 5, 2017
There is considerable interest in redeploying drugs for use in combination with other oncology therapeutics. The single‑agent activity of statins in ovarian cancer has been widely reported, however the drug concentration required to cause cell death is considerably higher than that achieved in patients receiving statin treatment for hypercholesterolemia. Unfortunately, statins can cause myopathy when administered in high doses. One solution to this is to identify drugs that could be used in combination with statins to reduce the dose required and those that may potentially reduce the incidence of adverse side effects. When the BH3 mimetic ABT‑737, or the phosphatidylinositol 3‑kinase inhibitor pictilisib, were combined with pitavastatin in cell growth assays using Ovcar‑3 and Igrov‑1 cells, the drug combinations were more effective than pitavastatin alone. In support of this, ABT‑737 or pictilisib markedly increased cell death induced by pitavastatin in several ovarian cancer cell lines. The drugs were also synergistic in apoptosis assays. These observations suggested that either BH3 mimetics or pictilisib in combination with pitavastatin could be used in a subset of ovarian tumours, particularly those sensitive to BH3 mimetics, and phosphatase and tensin homolog inhibition, in the treatment of ovarian cancer.